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     Council of Constantinople

Council of Constantinople

In 381 emperor Theodosius (379-395) summoned a synod of eastern bishops to meet at Constantinople. This council, recognized eventually as the second ecumenical (universal) council of the church , had as its primary business the affirmation of the full Deity of the Holy Spirit against the Macedonian party, which claimed the Spirit represented a "mediating power" rather than a Person of the Trinity. It naturally confirmed the symbol (creed) of the Council of Nicea. At the same time, its members seemed to have considered another formula as well: a declaratory baptismal symbol in which the key Nicene words and phrases had been inserted, and which also contained the anti-Macedonian declaration that the Holy Spirit "is worshipped and glorified together with the Father and the Son". This confession, though not officially adpoted by the council of 381, continued to be associated with its name and was later, at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, declared to be the "faith" of the one hundred and fifty bishops assembled under Theodosius. It was this symbol which by reason of its growing use as a liturgical and baptismal formula gradually achieved universal acceptance. It was and is caled "Nicene" becuase it incorporated the anti-arian phrases and so expressed the faith of the creed of Nicea.

Sources utilized in these pages may include:
  • Everett Ferguson's: Backgrounds of Early Christianity
  • Walker's: History of Christianity (out of print)

    (These links will take you to book detail pages at

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